Kathmandu [Nepal], July 2 (ANI): Nepal will procure four million doses of Vero Cell vaccines from China under a non-disclosure agreement signed between the two nations, sources said though officials from the Ministry of Health and Population declined to comment on the issue.
Issuing a notice on Friday late evening, the Ministry of Health and Population announced that Nepal would start receiving doses of Vero Cell vaccine manufactured by Sinopharm manufactured from next week.
"In regard to the procurement of vaccines, the Government of Nepal has signed an agreement with China's Beijing based Sinopharm company on the basis of which the supply of vaccines would start from July 8, 2021 on weekly basis," Krishna Paudel, spokesperson at the Ministry said in the release.
The ministry hasn't specified the number of doses that has been contracted with the Chinese company and cost per dose.
But sources in the Ministry confirmed to ANI that a deal to procure four million doses of Vero Cell has been made under a non-disclosure agreement between the two nations. Upon being contacted, officials at the ministry declined to comment.
Nepal till date has received a total of 4.2 million doses of anti-COVID vaccines from India, China, Gavi COVAX facility (one of the three pillars of Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was launched in April.
It brings together governments, global health organisations, manufacturers, scientists, private sector, civil society and philanthropy, with the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
Out of the total vaccines received, one million doses were commercially procured from India while the rest were donations.
As per the ministry, a total of 9 per cent of the population has been administered the first dose of vaccine-- either Covishield or Vero Cell-- while 3 per cent of the population has already received the complete (two) doses of anti-COVID vaccines. (ANI)